1. Department of General Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116023, China.
2. Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116600, China.
3. Department of Pharmacology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China.
4. Department of Pharmacy, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116023, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: Oxidative stress has emerged as an essential factor in the pathogenesis of intestinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. The adaptor protein p66Shc is a key regulator of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and a mediator of I/R damage in the intestine, but the upstream mechanisms that directly regulate p66Shc expression during intestinal I/R remain largely unknown. Recent studies have suggested that noncoding RNAs, such as circular RNAs (circRNAs), are important players in physiological and pathological processes based on their versatile regulatory roles in gene expression. The aim of this study was to elucidate the contribution of p66Shc to oxidative damage in intestinal I/R and to investigate the regulation of p66Shc by circRNA sponges.
Methods: Intestinal I/R was induced in mice via superior mesenteric artery (SMA) occlusion. A miR-339-5p agomir or circ-protein kinase C beta (PRKCB) siRNA was injected intravenously before I/R challenge. In addition, Caco-2 cells were subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) in vitro to simulate an in vivo I/R model.
Results: In vitro, p66Shc deficiency significantly reduced H/R-induced ROS overproduction by attenuating mitochondrial superoxide anion (O2-) levels, suppressing NADPH oxidase activity and enhancing antioxidant enzyme expression. Moreover, miR-339-5p was identified to directly regulate p66Shc expression in the intestine. Furthermore, we found that a circRNA transcribed from the PRKCB gene, named circ-PRKCB, acted as an endogenous miR-339-5p sponge to regulate p66Shc expression. circ-PRKCB silencing or miR-339-5p overexpression significantly downregulated p66Shc expression and attenuated oxidative stress levels and I/R injury in vivo and in vitro. Notably, the increased circ-PRKCB levels and decreased miR-339-5p levels associated with murine intestinal I/R were consistent with those in patients with intestinal infarction.
Conclusions: Our findings reveal a crucial role for the circ-PRKCB/miR-339-5p/p66Shc signaling pathway in regulating oxidative stress in the I/R intestine. This pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for intestinal I/R injury.
Keywords: intestinal ischemia/reperfusion, oxidative stress, p66Shc, miR-339-5p, circular RNA